I wanna tell you a story.
Let me set the scene. This permission covers 90 acres. We know there are one or two munties and one or two Roe on it. They use it as a transit route from one farm to another, which of course we do not have permission and there is an MOD base on another side, which we definitely do not have permission for.
So it is not like it is laden with deer or anything, lucky to spot one in the distance every few weeks. I have managed one stalk there, one was with the munties but when I got them in my sights it just wasn't a safe shot, and my mentor agreed, good call me. The next time we spotted one as the light was failing and I got it in my sights,,,,,,,,,,,and it was a damn female Roe.
Hence the fact that for the 3 months now that I have had my FAC I haven't shot anything other than a bunny at 165 yards. Headshot, still edible. I digress.
I'm still setting the scene here, bear with me.
We didn't bring the walkie talkies, and whilst I had my phone one me I usually leave it at the shop when we go out so it is less for me to carry. And my shooting buddy knows this.
Ok so far? Nearly there.
So we get a call from the farmer, Planted maize yesterday, the rooks and pigeons are hammering it, can you bring the shotguns and have a go. Course, sez us, happy to help. So we get there; it is about a 1/2 mile walk from the car to the field. So I slings the 243 on my back, just in case, and we make our war towards the field, picking a bunny off alone the way. Hocked and hung over the fence to collect on the way back. (That bit is like the squirrel in the banks tv ad, absolutely no relevance to the story, just filling time in.) On round to the field and we take us positions. Course all the birds had buggered off hours ago, Still we said we would do it so we stayed there for about an hour and saluted one or two as they came over. They were very high and we we not in the flight path. I should point out that we are not crap, the birds just were not there, they had moved two fields over.
So after the hour we decided to wander and we went and took up position in the 2 fields over. There was certainly plenty there in the trees as we got there, must have had about 40 pigeons fly out as we moved around to get into position. "Oh good" says I, "We're gonna have some crack here".
Now I will have to digress slightly to try to explain the layout of this field. Easiest way to say is that it is shaped like a chopping knife with a wide handle. the full length is about 450 yards and the width is about 100. The handle is about 50 yards wide. Got it? Good. Wish I could type faster!!!
So I am in the corner where the handle meets the blade underneath a tree. You know where it bends around. My mate is about 100 ish yards away along the blade of the knife. Somewhat out of earshot, (Did I mention we didn't bring the walkie talkies? Well we never do generally)
Anyway, of course all the pigeons and rooks saw us take up position so they then decided to sod off to another field and we only had a few come over every now and then. (I forgot to mention it was windy as a windy thing could be today.)
SO FINALLY; We're in position, starting to cool down from the trek of carrying the rifle and shotgun, rifle is in the bag by my feet, have been for an hour, I am watching the sky looking through the gap in my hat and scrim net, (Isn't it amazing how the birds nearly always fly from the position that you are not looking in, so by the time you see them they are out of range.) the occasional shot when I happen to be looking the right way as something comes within range.
So it is quiet for about half hour when suddenly this pigeon comes in from the top edge of the knife with the wind behind it like it had the divil himself chasing behind it. I was up and on it, about 8 foot lead..squeezed the trigger and the wings folded and down he came, a perfect headshot. It was cracking, my mate had seen it, I was smug as a person who has a 1st class honours degree in looking like a smug ****.
didya see that? dya dya? That was a cracking shot that was. Whatya tink?
He said...............It would have been better if you had shot the roe buck that passed within 20 yards of you a minute ago.
WHAT ROE BUCK?
He crossed the field and passed within about 20 yards towards the corner, and he stopped and looked over and he looked like a silver to me. I thought to myself, any second now he will put down the shotgun and get the rifle out. But you didn't. I couldn't wave or anything as it would have seen me..
Now the only thing I can think of is that where I was standing looking out, he would have come out of the hedge on my right, probably parallel to me, so I of course was looking the wrong way and by the time I turned around to scan that side for birds he had already trotted out of view for me. I probably missed him by 10 /15 seconds.
I said, "why didn't you call me? I had my phone on me." He said, you always leave it in the shop.
So the moral of the story, if there is one;
The best shot of the day is probably nowhere as near as good as the one that you didn't get,
Don't forget your walkie talkies
Maybe I am just fated not to bag a deer.
And as for the rabbit? Well we went back to pick him up and saw a magpie fly off. He had just discovered the rabbit and had one eve out and a peck or two at the leg. Amazing how they can hone in on something like that.
Tune in for episode two when I go out next week and forget to bring the magazine or bullets, or probably the rifle!!!!
and do you think Max would be upset cos I can't spell his surname?